The Washington Redskins find themselves in an awkward predicament heading into the 2017 season. The team has spent the better part of the last six months looking for ways to improve their defense, a squad that has ranked near the bottom of the league the last few years. The Redskins thought they had done just that as they made their cutdowns Saturday afternoon, per league rules. Somewhere in the midst of cutting 33 players, linebacker-turned-safety Su’a Cravens decided he wanted to retire. Obviously, the idea caught the organization off-guard as the 22-year-old was just tweeting last week that he was pumped and ready for the opening of the season.
While the team reportedly talked him out of the retirement, many questions still loom as the Redskins placed Cravens on the exempt/left squad list according to a press release from Washington’s PR department. While no one seems to know why Cravens was contemplating the move, everyone agrees that the young man needs to get his life together before coming back. Placing Cravens on the exempt list means the former USC star will be out of action for at least the first month of the season. Cravens was already nursing a knee injury that he had surgically repaired just a couple of weeks ago.
For the Redskins, it means that instead of rolling out their revamped secondary week one against the Eagles, the team will instead already be filling holes as Deshazor Everett will now step in at strong safety alongside D.J. Swearinger on the Redskins secondary. But it goes deeper than just a starting spot for the first few weeks, as the Redskins once again appear to be cursed at the safety spot. Cravens is likely one of the top four prospects on the entire Redskins roster and definitely a player first-year defensive coordinator Greg Manusky thought was going to be making plays not only this year, but for years to come.
Washington thought they had the strong safety spot filled a couple of seasons ago, before then-rookie safety Kyshoen Jarrett suffered nerve damage, an injury he still hasn’t returned from. In truth, the team hasn’t felt comfortable at the position since Sean Taylor was murdered in 2007. Since that time, countless “patches” have been applied, but none have fixed the issues.
In Other News
Washington signed seven players to their practice squad and claimed former Minnesota Vikings tackle T.J. Clemmings off of waivers Sunday afternoon. While Clemmings didn’t do all that well at the tackle position in Minnesota, the team will likely look to him for depth at the guard spot.
The seven players the Redskins signed were all originally on their 90-man preseason roster. LB Pete Robertson, Guard Kyle Kalis, DL Brandon Banks, S Fish Smithson, WR Robert Davis, TE Manasseh Garner, and WR Maurice Harris were the players Washington signed to their practice squad.
[Featured Image by Brian Blanco/Getty Images]